What Happens When You Don’t Change Your Oil?

A lot of things happen to your engine when you don’t change the oil. None of them good. In this video I highlight what happens to the rubber seals in your engine if you go extended periods between oil changes.

I was able to repair this 2002 3.5RL by replacing the valve cover gaskets and cam seals. However, there still may be issues with some of the other rubber seals down the road. As I said in the video, this effects all the rubber seals in the engine, not just the valve covers.

It may seem obvious, but be sure to change your oil on a regular basis to avoid the same fate.

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Author: Rafael


42 thoughts on “What Happens When You Don’t Change Your Oil?

  1. All convenientional, 19year old car, 241k miles. Only oil leaks, front crank seal, and valve cover gasket. 3k mile intervals. Sometimes you cannot prevent leaks to a certain point. But I agree. There's no reason why a car with 100k miles should be leaking. Change your damn oil. You pay for car insurance right? Maintenance is literally car insurance. Can't get in a wreck if your engine blows. Right?

  2. I don’t drive very often anymore, maybe around 8k-10k miles a year so I have been doing oil changes by how many months have gone by. Usually I do 4000k or 6 months whichever comes first. Hopefully that is ok.

  3. Personally, I think 5000 on conventional is too long, especially if you really love your car. Ive been driving 45 years. I always buy new cars, and change the engine oil every 3 to 4 thousand miles usually closer to 3000. Ive put well over 200.000 to 300.000 miles on my cars and never in my life have I ever had a car with engine problems, or engine oil consumption. I currently have 338.000 miles on my 94 Trans Am, engine never been touched, not even timing chain. Lt1 engine, still purrs and sounds like new. CASTROL GTX, 10 30 only oil used since factory oil drain.

  4. How many miles overdue is detrimental? I haven't had the finances to change mine and I'm sitting at 2500 overdue. I'm changing it in 2 days, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't in dangerous territory.

  5. yes there's stuff out there that makes gaskets pliable again. The effect is limited but you can get rid of leaks or make them much less of an issue. Depends on the ingredients in the oil

  6. That is NOT the result of oil change intervals, those gaskets become firm over time with heating and cooling in ALL engines.

  7. Every time my cars engine gets fresh new oil I don’t know if it’s just me but the engine feels better fast and more responsive. When it gets around to the time it need to be changed you can tell it feels little sluggish. So you can tell just be feel when it’s getting close to oil change I don’t know if others feel it or not but I can

  8. Do not put that high mileage oil in car if it's not leaking. As it will start to leak when you do. And change your filter in between oil changes for 8k-10k miles oil changes. The filter is only rated to hold about 24 grams of trash. Once it clogs. It will bypass and you will never know it. One reason I take oil samples and have them tested. I want to know just how much life is left in oil.

  9. Man gets me mad when people laugh at me about being so cautious about my cars oil. I check it like every day before I drive it might be little overkill but at least I'm making sure my engine runs happy unlike people that don't check oil and then compline they got weird noises

  10. I see now…. you were a used car salesman turned youtuber, and you took what knowledge you learned from the techs at your shop and pass in on to others… that's pretty clever… It's almost the exact same thing, just a slight shift in direction and on the internet instead of in person…. Let me feed you a bunch of BS that makes no sense what so ever but i'll tell you how it does because i'm a shifty sly guy. I guarantee you wont leave here without a new car, or watching one of my videos…… yea…. other than that its exactly the same.

  11. What are you thoughts on time vs. miles with conventional oil? Scenario: my daily work commute is 10 miles. I change conventional oil/oil filter every 3K miles, but it takes me six months to drive 3K miles (good first world problem to have). Thanks!

  12. The oil’s pissing out the rocker covers of my car anyway faster than the service puts it back in. Still, I will get around to servicing the thing eventually…

  13. I bet my seals in my 2001 Saturn would break into a million pieces if I took them out. Yikes. I really need to change my oil more often. Honestly I’ll probably have to replace all of my gaskets before I sell it.

  14. How often would you change synthetic engine oil if you drive it hard almost every time, and red line the engine at least once every time you drive it (after temps are up)?

  15. Thanks Eric, Great advise and channel. I have a quick question if you would be kind enough to answer. I rarely put miles on my car and I generally pass the recommended oil change date my dealer puts. I tend to change my car oil almost once a year since I put only 2500-3500 miles a year on my car (synthetic oil). What is your recommendation? I know some say replace the oil with which ever comes first (miles or date) but if I were to change it on the recommended date then I would only have 700-1000 miles on that oil. Seems like a waste in good oil and waste management that comes with getting rid of oil. Should I be changing oil more frequently? Thanks!

  16. I know you're not a chemist, but any idea how not changing the oil makes the seals hard? BTW, I use Castrol GTX 5W30 and change it every 3 months / 3000 miles and have over 200K miles and no oil leaks.

  17. I spread my mileage over 4 cars, so i change oil yearly instead of on a mileage basis. Totally agree that changing the oil often is a good thing, i buy my oil in larger units, so its cheap as heck anyway!

  18. I really like the visual reference you give with the crumbly seals. I'd have liked you to mention the reason that happens but I can do it for you.

    My understanding is that oil degrades over time. As this happens it becomes acidic from the exhaust chemistry going on in the oil during normal running conditions from combustion. Basically your oil becomes acidic over time and that degrades the seals and gaskets. That's why it's important to change your oil on a regular basis. I just retired my 1997 Pontiac Grand Am at over 1 million Kilometers(near 800k miles). So believe me when I tell you changing your fluids regularly makes all the difference in the world.

  19. Eric, my second car does not get many miles put on it. The good news is, the miles it does accumulate are usually for drives that last longer than 30 minutes, so the engine is thoroughly warmed up and (hopefully) any condensation in the oil pan is driven out. Consequently it has been 2 years and 2,500 mile between oil changes. Your opinion ?

  20. what I see is typical "chinesium" garbage rubber, it just doesn't hold up like it used to and very compounded by the junk added to current fuels. big killer 😉

  21. I’ve been a professional tech for 15 years. I change regular oil 3-4k and synthetic 5-6k. Most engines you can go a few thousand more miles but with the amount of engine work I’ve done over the years I’ve seen how much cleaner an engine is with 3k oil changes.

  22. I do mine every 3000 miles if there is a high amount of engine run time since the last interval or 5000 or so miles if I am just commuting.

  23. I ended up having an oil leak, but not due to infrequent oil changes, but because I had a bad PCV valve. I had excessive pressure built up and it found it's way out through the seals.

  24. question, what do i do if i only drive my car for about 1.5-2K miles a year?

    do i change it out every year?
    i have been waiting every 2 years to change it out.

    its a BMW and the dealer charges like 129$ for an oil change.

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